Top Amazon River Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews &...

Amazon River Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

23 Amazon River trips. Compare tour itineraries from 10 tour companies. 56 reviews. 4.9/5 avg rating.

Small Group Amazon River Tours

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Top Amazon River Attractions

    • Seeing the European influenced city of Manaus, carved out of the dense jungle.
    • Visiting local villages and meeting the isolated communities.
    • Marveling at the wildlife, from enormous butterflies to curious monkeys roaming the canopy.
    • Going a river cruise through the heart of the jungle, and listening to the night animals while falling asleep.
    • Birdwatching in the most biodiverse rainforest on the planet. 

Amazon River Tours & Travel Guide

Amazon River Attractions & Landmarks Guide

The Amazon River is the world’s largest by volume, starting in Peru and flowing some 4,000 miles east through Ecuador and Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean. The surrounding rain forests are among the world's most diverse ecosystems, home to thousands of plant and animal species. There are two main sections, the Upper and Lower Amazon, navigable by medium and small river cruises.

The Amazon in Numbers

Only statistics can convey the sheer size of Amazonia, the largest tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon ecosystem contains one-tenth of the earth’s vegetation and animal species, and one-fifth of its fresh water. Its plant life produces one-third of the world’s oxygen, which is why the devastating deforestation that is underway has such a major impact. 

Statistics also help to put into perspective the size of the massive river for which the area is named. At 4,000 miles in length, the Amazon is the second longest river in the world after the Nile, but in other respects it ranks first.  This massive waterway provides life to the largest rainforest in the world, and supports over 10 million plants, animals, and insects. This staggering number makes the Amazon the most biodiverse region in the world. 

It is the widest river, in many places up to seven miles across even 1,000 miles inland. The Amazon has a flow of water 12 times that of the Mississippi. It has more than 1,000 tributaries, 17 of which themselves are over 1,000 miles long.

Wildlife in the Amazon

15,000 species make Amazonia their home. Many of the larger mammals have retreated from the river banks to less accessible remnants of undisturbed forest. While it’s extremely unlikely these days that you will spot a jaguar, and rare to see tapir, or giant anaconda, this doesn't mean you won't see other rare and fascinating animals. 

There are still plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Giant river otter, three-toed sloth, and porcupine are among mammals that may reveal themselves to sharp-eyed travelers. Rare pink dolphins are also commonplace in the Amazon, so you will also have the chance to see these marine mammals up close. 

Protected Areas of the Amazon River

If you want a more authentic experience, and want the best chance of seeing a range of animals and plants, protected areas are your best bet.

1. Yasuni National Park, Ecuador - If you’re starting in Coca, this park is likely on your itinerary. There is a mix of rainforest lodges and river cruises, depending on your preference and the tour you select. This is a great park to visit because of it’s high levels of animals and plants. There is also a clay lick which will attract animals. This park contains over one million hectares of UNESCO rainforest.

2. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru - this is a great option for those traveling to the Peruvian Amazon. Most tours based out of Peru includes a stop in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Here, you will see various animals (including monkeys, pink river dolphins, and iguanas), and beautiful, protected forest. This area is best seen on a river cruise, so you can see this “forest of mirrors.” The nutrient-rich water makes for awesome reflections of the trees in the river, a sight to be seen!

3. The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Peru - best for travelers looking to explore the Amazon by foot. The forest is on higher ground, making it more accessible to walk around. The reserve was founded to help protect uakari monkeys, and also features a dart frog conservation.

For visitors looking to zipline through the Amazon, this is home to the largest canopy zipline. The primate research grid is located nearby the reserve too. This is a popular choice for visitors, and many come to visit the Tahuayo Lodge, one of the highest rated lodges in the Amazon.

4. The Anavilhanas National Park, Brazil - is another protected area. This park is special as there are different “islands” to explore. Cruise through the archipelago. Surprisingly, there are beaches in this section of the rainforest!

When to Visit the Amazon River

The Amazon region is huge. Since it spans across much of South America, the best time to visit depends on what you’re hoping to see, and where you’re going. Wet season often means traveling by skiff, so if you’re hoping to walk around and hike, it’s best to go during the dry season. The tail end of the rainy season is what helps the plants bloom, so keep this into consideration. Rainy season can also bring out the wildlife.

Popular Amazon regions:

1. Coca, Ecuador - There isn’t a huge temperature difference throughout the year in Coca, with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, and lows in the low 70s year round. Travelers looking for minimal rainfall have the best luck visiting in August-November.

2. Iquitos, Peru - The weather in Iquitos is pretty stead all year, averaging upper 80s year round, with lows in the low 70s. Rainfall hits a low of 160 mm in July and August, during peak “dry” season, while wet season averages between 230-310. While wildlife is active year, plants and fruit are blooming in the first half of the year (around January through May).

3. Manaus, BrazilManaus is pretty similar to Iquitos regarding weather, with temperatures averaging high 80s and creeping up into the low 90s year round. Lows are pretty similar to, averaging in the mid 70s.

Again, wildlife is pretty active the whole year, but fruits and flowers are blooming in February-April. While this is peak rainfall season (averaging around 300 mm of rain), visitors also win because this is the start of festival season. For travelers looking for minimum rainfall, August is the best month to go, with just an average of 58 mm of rain.

Should I visit the Amazon River with a tour?

The answer is yes, you should. Many people pride themselves on being independent travelers, but this is not the place to do this. The Amazon is huge and it’s easy to get lost. There’s a chance of running into indigenous tribes who may not be too fond of visitors just strolling around their home.

By going on a tour, you have a guide who is familiar with the area, who has access to safety and help when needed. They have built relationships with the indigenous communities they pass on the tour, so you’ll have a welcoming and fun experience with them.

Amazon River Photography Tips

For capturing the many colors and creeds of the Amazon, knowing a tip or two will take your travel photographs from ordinary to extraordinary. But beware - the river is unforgivingly large and deep - keep your camera firmly attached around your neck to avoid dropping it in the depths!

1. Use Manual Focus - The Amazon river and rainforest are beautiful, however, they exhibit many of the same colors and shades. To make your subject pop, use a manual focus setting (or on a phone, try a “portrait mode” that will fade the background. This will give more depth to your image.

2. Bring a Lens Cloth - The Amazon is a rainforest and therefore it will be damp (whether you travel in the dry or wet season). In case you’re going for the fogged lens look (which you might be!) it’s always a good idea to give your lens a good wipe down before shooting.

3. Use Different Angles - This becomes increasingly important for wildlife photography, when getting the shot may require a position worthy of any contortionist. But using different angles can reveal an entirely different kind of picture, and keeps you attuned to your surroundings.

4. Bring a long lens - If you’re shooting with a DSLR, you’ll definitely want a long or zoom lens with you. The wildlife will not come to you, so you have to go to them, and even then your sightings may be very far away (another reason to go with a guide on nature hikes and walk through the Amazon - their eyes will see things you’d pass right by!). A 100-400mm lens is recommended, and you can even get extenders to add on top, giving you amazing long distance range.

5. Pay attention to shutter speed - making use of your manual settings is going to take your Amazon photographs to the next level. One that is often forgotten about is shutter speed. Remember that oftentimes you will be in a fast moving boat, and / or attempting to photograph fast moving wildlife. Increasing your shutter speed can help!

6. Don’t be afraid of your flash - It can seem counterintuitive to have your flash ready in broad daylight, but remember that when you’re walking on the forest floor, the canopy cover is quite thick. It will be dark, so your flash can become your best friend. If you hate the look of photographs with flash, consider widening your aperture to let more light in.

Amazon River Reviews & Ratings

4.9/5  Excellent
56  Reviews
See all Amazon River tour reviews


Jun 2024

Written on

Brazilian Amazon by Boat

Amazing trip. Thoroughly recommend this. Real exploring in the Amazon


Alan Reimer

Jun 2024

Written on

Brazilian Amazon by Boat

Blanca was a brilliant guide. A happy, jovial person. Kept us informed. Good with people. One of the strokes of genius was organising laundry @ Parnamirlm just a...



Dec 2023

Written on

Brazilian Amazon by Boat

Time on the charter boat at Manaus area.


Trusted Customer

Nov 2023

Written on

Brazilian Amazon by Boat

This was a memorable trip for many of the wrong reasons and a few of the right ones. Accommodation- in many respects it is a backpacker trip in terms of quality of...



Oct 2023

Written on

Brazilian Amazon by Boat

An amazing trip - highly recommended! The river, tour leader, nature and wildlife were fantastic!

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